Just two weeks ago, the XFL announced team names and logos for the inaugural season that starts February 2020. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, every attempt at building the alternative league has failed. RIP AAF. However, Vince McMahon believes his new league will succeed.
McMahon invested $500 million and set Oliver Luck, the father of recently retired Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, as a commissioner. The XFL will be split into two conferences of four teams, and the regular season will have ten weeks without a bye week.
It means that each team will play three conference rivals twice and the teams from the other conference once. Top two teams from each conference will enter the playoffs, while the Championship Game is set for April 26, 2020.
2020 XFL Teams & Winners Odds
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|New York Guardians +300||Los Angeles Wildcats +300|
|Tampa Bay Vipers +450||Dallas Renegades +350|
|D.C. Defenders +900||Houston Roughnecks +900|
|St. Louis BattleHawks +900||Seattle Dragons +900|
Although the odds are available, the XFL Draft is set for late October which means you can only rely on head coaches and team names when you’re placing the wager. Thus far, only one player has joined the league – the former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Landry Jones.
The NFL teams have cut their rosters for the 2019 season, so we’ll find out some new names who will join the XFL soon. The salary cap is approximately $4 million per team, and all teams will select their quarterbacks prior to the XFL Draft.
So, why the bookmakers fancy New York and Los Angeles over the other six teams? Head coaches and their staff could be an answer, as well as a huge market in those cities. Howsoever, we can only take a closer look at head coaches.
Kevin Gilbride (New York Guardians) was the San Diego Chargers head coach in 1997 and 1998. He was the offensive coordinator for the New York Giants for seven years and won two Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011.
Winston Moss (Los Angeles Wildcats) is a former linebacker who spent 11 years in the NFL. Moss was a linebackers coach and assistant head coach for the Green Bay Packers. He was fired last year just two days after Mike McCarthy.
The Dallas Renegades made an interesting choice, hiring Bob Stoops as their head coach. Stoops is the winningest head coach in the Oklahoma Sooners history, tallying a 190-48 record over 18 seasons. Likewise, Stoops won the National Championship in 2000 along with ten Big 12 Championships.
Marc Trestman will lead the Tampa Bay Vipers, and he’s a former Chicago Bears head coach. Trestman also led the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts in the CFL, winning the Coach of the Year Award on two occasions.
Jim Zorn (Seattle Dragons) served as a quarterbacks coach for five NFL teams, while he was the Washington Redskins head coach in 2008 and 2009. June Jones (Houston Roughnecks) was a head coach of the Atlanta Falcons for three years (1994-1996), and he also led the SMU Mustangs from 2008 to 2014.
Jonathan Hayes (St. Louis BattleHawks) started his career under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, while he was coaching tight ends for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003 to 2018. Finally, Pep Hamilton (D.C. Defenders) served as a quarterbacks coach for five NFL teams and worked with Andrew Luck and Alex Smith.
Considering all these names, it seems New York and Dallas have made the best selection. However, taking the 2020 XFL winner at this moment is a complete shot in the dark.
There are speculations about some NFL players who could join the XFL in 2020 including QBs Jeff Driskel (Cincinnati), C.J. Beathard (San Francisco), and Trevor Siemian (NY Jets).
Colin Kaepernick could also find his place in the XFL, but we’ll have to wait for a few weeks to see what’s realistic of all these rumors.
XFL Rule Changes
Keep in mind that the XFL will make some rule changes in regard to the NFL. Hereof, the head coaches and players will have to adapt, while Vince McMahon and Oliver Luck hope the new rules will make the XFL a joy to watch.
First, all passes behind the line of scrimmage will be considered as lateral passes. Also, each player behind the line of scrimmage will be an eligible receiver. Second, the kickoff will be moved to the 15-yard line, while a fair catch is revoked, so the returning team will have to return the ball.
Furthermore, the scrimmage play will replace the extra point kick. A ten-yard attempt would score three points; a five-yard attempt would score two points, while a two-yard attempt would score one point. The clock will only stop during a two-minute drill and change of possession.
Likewise, the play clock is 25 seconds which could be a problem, especially at the start of the season. Obviously, the XFL wants to make the game a bit faster and minimize idle time. On a paper, it seems like a good idea, but it’s hard to say will it work in practice and for how long.
Howsoever, you can lay the odds on the 2020 XFL winner and stay tuned for more interesting info about the upcoming XFL season.